In project management, success is often determined by navigating complex tasks, allocating resources efficiently, and staying ahead of potential challenges.
Central to achieving these goals is project management tracking – a vital process that empowers project managers and stakeholders with real-time insights into a project’s progress and performance.
In this article, we will delve into the significance of project tracking, explore the essential components of a project tracker, and uncover the strategies and tools that enable effective project progress monitoring.
Whether you’re a seasoned project manager or just embarking on your project management journey, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to steer your projects toward successful outcomes.
Free Handbook: The Project Manager’s Handbook on Time Tracking
The step-by-step guide to master time tracking as a Project Manager
Project tracking is the process of monitoring and collecting the project’s progress and performance. It entails keeping your full attention on every project element, such as tasks, activities, milestones, resources, and budgets.
You must recognize the importance of project tracking because it allows you to collect real-time data on every project. With that knowledge, you can define the potential issues and risks and decide how to eliminate them to keep your project on its rightful journey.
It will allow project managers and stakeholders to make informed decisions and efficiently assign their resources in due time.
A project tracker is a tool created to monitor the project’s performance and resource allocation.
You can choose to track the project’s progresses either with a spreadsheet or a project management tool.
With a project tracker, you can:
- Create, assign, and track tasks within the project;
- Define project milestones and monitor their process;
- Time track every task to evaluate the time spent;
- Manage and assign resources;
- Control your budget and project expenses;
- Collaborate and communicate with your team;
- Generate detailed reports;
- Identify potential issues;
- Collect all the documents that belong to each project you’ve developed.
Set SMART goals, and ensure to communicate them clearly to the team. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented.
Work with a good project management tool that fulfills your and your team’s needs and requirements. Do intensive research and define the one that fits your needs better.
The project manager is responsible for dividing the project into smaller tasks. After that, take time to prioritize the tasks with the team.
Establish project milestones to mark your and your team’s achievements toward the project’s progress. The completion of milestones is able to offer you insights into the success of the projects you’re involved in.
Ensure you allocate correctly the right resources to the right tasks. This means allocating tasks based on the team members’ best skills and, during the project’s progression, doing regular check-ins to ensure balanced workloads.
Read also: The best resource planning software
You must count on your team members to assign tasks and establish deadlines. Ensure that your employees have accountability and commitment toward the project’s success.
Read also: How to delegate tasks to team members
Start collecting real-time data to stay on top of the project’s progress. Ensure you and your team track how many tasks are completed and if there are any blockers.
Read also: Measuring the profitability of a project
Communicating with your team members is crucial for the success of every project. Take your time to share updates, issues, and adjustments. Also, keep your stakeholders in the loop with reports and meetings.
Discover the top group and team communication apps.
If your project requires, you can use Gantt charts to place your project on visual timelines and Kanban boards for agile project tracking and management.
Project tracking tools help project managers and teams plan, organize, and track projects in one platform.
Normally, a project tracking software should include some of the following features:
- Task creation and assignment;
- Visual project timelines and Gantt Charts;
- Agile project tracking through Kanban boards;
- Time tracking;
- Document sharing;
- Communication channels;
- Reports and analytics to monitor the project’s performance;
- Tracking project expenses and costs to control the allocated budget;
- Project risk management features to identify the project’s risks and to evaluate potential strategies.
Read also: Discover the best project management time tracking software.
Here are some key elements you should include in a project report:
- An overview of the project with objectives, milestones, purpose, and outcome;
- A brief introduction to provide the context of the project;
- Details about completed tasks and overall progression during the reporting period;
- Budget distribution, resources needed, and total expenses;
- Potential risks and how to solve them;
- Projects’ progress against initial objectives;
- Summary of communication activities with the team and stakeholders;
- Next steps to move forward;
- A conclusion that should summarize the whole content;
Project reporting best practices
- Do periodic reporting: determine with everyone a periodic and regular time for the delivery and presentation of the report to keep everyone up to speed;
- Outline KPIs: emphasize KPIs that are important to measure your project’s success;
- Use a standard report template: maintain the same project template so that it’s easy to compare with the previous versions;
- Involve stakeholders: invite the stakeholders to participate in the reporting process with their input and feedback. Maintain communication throughout the project’s journey;
- Tackle possible risks: Don’t be afraid to discuss risks and their impact on the project. Highlight those risks and show the strategy on how to overcome them;
Read also: How to track team performance
Time keeping is crucial in project tracking as it provides an accurate and detailed account of how resources, especially time, are utilized throughout a project’s lifecycle.
It enables project managers to allocate resources efficiently, identify bottlenecks, make informed and quick decisions, and optimize workflows. With precise time data, project progress can be monitored, and potential issues can be addressed proactively. Time tracking also aids in cost estimation and budget control, ensuring that projects stay within financial constraints.
Moreover, it fosters transparency, accountability, and accurate client billing, enhancing trust and communication. In essence, time tracking serves as a fundamental tool for effective project tracking, enabling teams to meet deadlines, maintain budgets, and deliver successful outcomes.
Timeular is an effortless and easy-to-use project time tracker widely used by Project Managers to track their team’s project efforts and make estimates. Timeular is not per se a project management tool but is an essential ally to the success of a project.
“Tracking in Timeular has increased the amount of hours worked that are reported. Before some things were forgotten and missed off. Now the whole day is in Timeular and we have all of the information we need.”Roman Haag, Partner at iAgentur
Timeular top features for project management
- Track billable and non-billable hours;
- Multiple time tracking options: automatic, manual, with a physical device, or with keyboard shortcuts;
- Integration with the most popular project management tools;
- Runs smoothly on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
- Team productivity reports.
Multiple time tracking methods
To provide an excellent and friendly user experience, Timeular offers several ways to track time, including a physical time-tracking cube, the Timeular Tracker. Each side of the cube may represent a task, activity, project, or client. The physical Tracker connects to the app via Bluetooth, but you don’t need the Tracker to use Timeular software.
With automatic time tracking, Timeular captures the applications, documents, and websites you’ve engaged with alongside your calendar events and effortlessly integrates them into your time tracking summary with just a single click. Rest assured, your privacy is fully safeguarded: all data remains exclusively stored on your device, making it inaccessible.
Track your time with a physical Tracker
Build a habit using muscle memory and a powerful physical reminder. All new users get 2 months free subscription when connecting a new Tracker.
Timeular also offers detailed and customizable reports. The app provides a precise breakdown of your activities to ensure that each little task is tracked and added to your invoice. You can export your reports to PDF, XLSX, or CSV.
Read also: The most accurate billable hour trackers on the market.
Here’s why Timeular is the go-to choice for tracking project management
- Simple, automated, and modern time tracking methods: gain employee buy-in from the outset with Timeular’s intuitive interface. Time tracking becomes an enjoyable experience.
- A tangible Tracker to cultivate a consistent time tracking routine.
- Collaborative functionalities for team synergy: collaborate effortlessly with shared folders, enabling collective time tracking and the creation of individual and team reports.
- Add notes to time entries. customize time entries with notes and automated tags to capture the nuances of your work.
- 3,000 integrations with popular project management tools: including a time-tracking integration with Jira and Asana.
- Improve time estimations: track your time to bridge the gap between project estimates and actual time spent, curbing the Time Monkey Effect by gaining insights into task time requirements, refining estimations, and enhancing project planning accuracy.
- Tracking project budget and progress: maintain budget control by swiftly identifying areas needing attention and strategically reallocating resources.
- Automated reports without chasing time sheets.
Track how much time you need per each project!
Use the most effortless and user friendly time tracking solution. Try Timeular, it’s free for 30 days!
Asana is a flexible project management software that allows teams to plan and organize their tasks efficiently.
You can explore task assignments, multiple project views, lists, boards, and timelines.
It’s perfect for any type of team and project size, improving collaboration and communication. Despite its qualities, there are two disadvantages pointed out by those who use Asana:
- Asana time tracking: the in-built time tracking features are not easy to use and accurate
- Pricing structure: can be considered too high for some user
Also used as a time blocking app, Trello is a team management software, free digital planner, and task automation software; we could keep listing uses and utilities for this tool.
Due to its qualities, this user-friendly project management tool stands out through the Kanban boards method.
As such, it uses boards, lists, and cards to help organize tasks, projects, and even your team. It also provides integration with different and popular apps that are available.
TIP: Get to know the top remote team management tools.
In conclusion, effective project tracking is essential for successful project management. It enhances visibility and transparency, aids in early issue detection and resource allocation, improves risk management, supports stakeholder engagement, and enables data-driven decision-making.
Time tracking plays a crucial role in project tracking by revealing resource allocation, aiding accurate estimations, controlling budgets, identifying productivity patterns, and enabling informed decisions. Timeular offers a user-friendly approach with automated and manual time tracking methods, collaborative features, and integrations for enhanced project management.
Asana and Trello are other popular project management tools with their strengths, despite potential limitations in time tracking features. Effective project tracking, facilitated by time tracking tools, helps build insightful reports, enhances communication, and contributes to project success.
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